This is our third day of exploration in the Amazon Rainforest! After a long trip from Peru to Iquitos and then to Nauta, we are far away from the big cities today. We are surrounded by the greatest network of rivers on the planet. The Upper Amazon is a vast combination of terra firma and várzea forests. Giant trees emerge above the canopy layer, most at least a hundred feet high! The terra firma forest is always above water level and has the largest and highest trees. On the other hand, the várzea forest is flooded for at least four months of the year. Another vast area is always flooded. At this time of the year, low water levels in the river and creeks allow us to see a higher concentration of creatures.

We navigated to the Magdalena area in the morning. At six o’clock, we took skiff rides along the main river to search for surprises. We enjoyed birdwatching and took pictures of some Amazon birds, including plovers, terns, sandpipers, macaws, and parakeets. We were always in the company of pink and grey dolphins.

We navigated to the Magdalena area. At three o’clock, we went to the beach to walk and take pictures of shoreline birds, including plovers, terns, and sandpipers. We also spotted more pink river dolphins.

We explored the Pacaya at night, which was just astonishing. We spotted many jabirus, a large stork that inhabits parts of Texas, Mexico, and South America. Farther in, we observed hoatzins, cormorants, kingfishers, and many types of owls and herons. The big surprise was the black caimans. Our fearless local guides found a few that came out from the water to rest on the shore. We counted hundreds of them, some small but a few humongous reptiles. We enjoyed our nighttime jungle exploration on the skiffs. The guides are exceptional and easily spot animals with their keen eagle eyes.